The quintessential chocolate boy of television, actor Rajeev Khandelwal, who has been part of a few off-beat small budget movies, feels that it is the content and not the budget that decides the quality of a film.
Rajeev made a mark in television with the superhit soap Kahiin To Hoga. But he surprised everyone by doing an off-beat, small budget film -- Aamir, a psychological thriller, that Rajeev made a debut in Bollywood with. The movie had no lead actress, no item numbers, no opulent locations and Rajeev was shouldering a huge responsibility in his very first film.
He was next seen in Shaitan (2011), a thriller, directed by Bejoy Nambiar starring Rajeev, Kalki Koechlin, Shiv Pandit, Pawan Malhotra and Raj Kumar Yadav. Since the film was not moving for two years, Anurag Kashyap agreed to produce it on a smaller budget.
"I am an actor who wants to do exciting things, want to be part of good cinema, irrespective of the budget. I do not think a good film is made by good budget... a good film is made by good intention. If the film demands that kind of a budget then it should be assigned that kind of budget. But the budget of the film does not decide the quality of the film," Rajeev told PTI in an interview.
"I do not look at the budget, I look at the content, which is the king. I look at my directors, his sensibilities. I am not a hero of different cinema or new age cinema. I am just one of many actors, who are doing their job and that is to act," he said.
The actor feels that there is scope for all kind of cinema be it commercial or off-beat.
"There are so many actors and films of different kinds being made and you will need different actors to do justice to different kind of cinema and films. There is a room for everyone. I would do what excites me and where my instincts take me to," Rajeev said.
"Just because few films are being made in certain manner I won't be part of them. I have deepest respect and regards for all kind of films. The audience wants to watch good cinema and there is a place for everyone. And I feel my films belong to good cinema," he said.
When asked whether commercial films do not excite him, Rajeev says, "I want to be part of good cinema. I want to be part of those films that have a shelf life... I want to be part of films which will never age. Like the excitement to see Aamir should be same even after ten years. There are people who have watched Aamir ten times and they don't get bored. That is the kind of cinema I want to be part of and not the kind of films that are forgotten once they are off air."
Two films old, Rajeev's both films Aamir and Shaitan did fare well at the box office.
"I am happy with what I am doing. Success of Aamir made me pick up Shaitan and success of this film made me do Soundtrack. I hope the success of Soundtrack will help me choose something exciting and challenging," Rajeev said.
Rajeev's upcoming musical film Soundtrack has been directed by debutant director Neerav Ghosh and he will be seen along with actress Soha Ali Khan in the lead role. The film will release on September 30.